SAI_Title

Past Events of Spring 2006

Barbara Stoler Miller Lecture:
Barbara Stoler Miller Lecture:
Architecture and Contested Terrain in the Medieval Deccan
Richard M. Eaton & Phillip B. Wagoner
Date: Friday April 28th, 2006
Time: 4:00- 6:00 pm
Place: Room 1512, 15th floor, International Affairs Building, 420 West 118th Street, New York, NY 10027

There will be refreshments served after the lecture in room 1134


The Southern Asian Institute invites you to a Brown Bag Lunch Talk with:
Kiran Desai
on
"The Inheritance of Loss"
Date: Wednesday April 26, 2006
Time: 12:30 – 2pm
Place: Room 1134, 11th floor, International Affairs Building, 420 West 118th Street, New York, NY 10027

Kiran Desai is the author of two acclaimed novels, "The Inheritance of Loss" and "Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard."

At this talk, she will read from and discuss her latest book, "The Inheritance of Loss." Set in the Himalayas and in New York, The New York Times called it an "extraordinary” novel that "manages to explore, with intimacy and insight, just about every contemporary international issue: globalization, multiculturalism, economic inequality, fundamentalism, and terrorist violence."

Born in India in 1971, Desai was educated in India, England, and the United States. She received an MFA from Columbia.


The Southern Asian Institute invites you to a Brown Bag Lunch Talk with:
Narendra Kohli
on
"The Role of Intellectuals in the Ramakatha"
(in Hindi)

Date: Wednesday April 19, 2006
Time: 12:30 – 2pm
Place: Room 1134, 11th floor, International Affairs Building, 420 West 118th Street, New York, NY 10027

A novelist, short story writer, playwright and satirist, Narendra Kohli was born in Sialkot and grew up in Bihar. Since 1960, his numerous writings in Hindi have appeared regularly in India. Dr. Kohli completed a landmark novel “Abhyudaya,” inspired by the entire material of the Ramakatha. Some of his other novels have brought to life the stories of Krishna, the epic of the Mahabharat, and the journeys of Swami Vivekananda. His works have been translated into English, Nepali, Kannada, Marathi, Oriya,and Punjabi.

Dr. Kohli received a Ph.D from Delhi University and taught for many years at Motilal Nehru College.


India Initiative presents:
INSPIRING INDIA
(Half-Day Conference)
Date: April 7, 2006
Time: 12:30 pm
Place: Kellogg Center, 15th floor, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University

Free for SIPA Students, $5 all other students, $20 non-students (please bring cash or check payable to "Columbia University")

The conference is structured as a half-day event with panel discussions, a keynote address, and a reception. Panels will focus on the Kashmir conflict, US-India relations, and the role India plays in the global arena. Some of the confirmed panelists include Ambassador Frank Wisner, Richard Betts, Joydeep Mukherji. The panels seek to address and discuss the opportunities and challenges facing India today.

Brought to you by the India Initiative


The Southern Asian Institute invites you to a Brown Bag Lunch Talk with:
Kenneth X. Robbins
on
"African Elites in India"
Date: Wednesday April 5, 2006
Time: 12:30 – 2pm
Place: Room 1134, 11th floor, International Affairs Building, 420 West 118th Street, New York, NY 10027

Kenneth Robbins is co-editor of the recently published book “African Elites in India: Habshi Amarat.” The book explores the rich history of Sub-Saharan Africans in India – commonly called Habshis or Sidis – from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries. In particular, it examines their roles as merchants, nobles, statesmen and rulers in medieval and Moghul-era India.

A psychiatrist by training, Mr. Robbins has published over forty articles on Indian history and art. He has also served as curator for nine exhibitions of works from his extensive collection of Indian miniature paintings, photography, and decorative arts.


The Southern Asian Institute invites you to a Brown Bag Lunch Talk with:
Nathan Katz
on
"The Fall and Rise of Indo-Israeli Relations"
Date: Wednesday March 29, 2006
Time: 12:30 – 2pm
Place: Room 1134, 11th floor, International Affairs Building, 420 West 118th Street, New York, NY 10027

Nathan Katz is Professor of Religious Studies at Florida International University in Miami and one of the world’s leading authorities on Indian Jewish communities. He is a pioneer in the field of Indo-Judaic Studies and has been involved in Jewish-Hindu and Jewish-Buddhist dialogue for three decades.

He has written numerous books including, “Who Are the Jews of India,” “The Last Jews of Cochin: Jewish Identity in Hindu India,” and “Kashrut, Caste and Kabbalah: The Religious Life of the Jews of Cochin.” He also edits an academic journal, the Journal of Indo-Judaic Studies, and sits on the editorial board of The Tibet Journal.

Professor Katz lived in South Asia for more than seven years, two of which he spent in Afghanistan working with the U.S. Information Agency. He has been a visiting scholar and lecturer in India, Israel, Sri Lanka, and elsewhere. He was a member of the eight-person delegation of scholars and rabbis who met with His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet to discuss Jewish survival in exile.

Professor Katz has a Ph.D in Religion from Temple University.


The School of International and Public Affairs Columbia University New York City
Sponsored by
The Southern Asian Institute (SAI)
With the assistance of
The South Asian Graduate Students Association (SAGA)
-
Nepal —the Himalayan Hotspot. From Shangri-la To...?
Date: Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006
Time: 2 pm - 6.30 pm
Location: Dag Hammarskjold Lounge (Room 1501) at the School of International and Public Affairs 420 West 118th St., 15th Floor, New York, NY 10023

This half-day conference will focus on the possibilities, as well as the problems or challenges, in the strategically located kingdom of Nepal today and look at the prospects for the future.

Nepalese and foreign experts and public figures from different professional fields will present their views and analyses of the political, economic and social situation in this landlocked South Asian country embedded between China and India, discuss the issues and hopefully conclude with recommendations for the way forward.


The Southern Asian Institute invites you to a Brown Bag Lunch Talk with:
Waheed Hassan on
"The Struggle for Democracy in Maldives"
Date: Wednesday March 22, 2006
Time: 12:30 – 2pm
Place: Room 1134, 11th floor, International Affairs Building, 420 West 118th Street, New York, NY 10027

Waheed Hassan is a leading member of the Maldives Democratic Party (MDP), the opposition force in a country that has spent the last 28 years under the one-man rule of President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. In January, Dr. Hassan helped lead a nationwide demonstration to protest the government’s detention of political prisoners, among them the Chairman of the MDP.

Prior to returning to Maldives, Dr. Hassan worked for more than a decade in senior positions at the United Nations. He served as UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan and Deputy Regional Director of UNICEF for South Asia. From 1988 to 1992, he was secretary of education and a member of parliament in Maldives. He left the country after the government began a campaign of intimidation in retaliation for his activism on human rights and democratic reforms.

Dr. Hassan holds a Master’s in Education, a Master’s in Political Science, and a Ph.D in International Development Education, all from Stanford University.


The Southern Asian Institute invites you to a Brown Bag Lunch Talk with:
Madhavan Nambiar on “Empowering Rural India Through Information Technology”
Date: Wednesday March 1, 2006
Time: 12:30 – 2pm
Location: Room 1134, 11th floor, International Affairs Building, 420 West 118th Street, New York, NY 10027

Madhavan Nambiar is an additional secretary in India’s Ministry of Communications & Information Technology where he works to formulate policy on a wide spectrum of technology-related issues. Currently he is spearheading an ambitious effort by the Indian government to create internet kiosks in 100,000 villages.

Mr. Nambiar has held various posts within the Indian government, including executive director of the National Institute of Disaster Management and Chairman of the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation. He has also been a visiting scholar and fellow at Columbia and Oxford. He is currently teaching a course on public-private partnerships at SIPA.

Mr. Nambiar joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1974 and received an MBA from the Delhi School of Economics.


The Southern Asian Institute Invites You To:
Date: Monday, February 20th, 2006
Time: 4pm to 6pm
Location: Room 1512, 15th floor, International Affairs Building 420 W. 118th Street, New York, NY, 10027
*Food and beverages will be served in room 1134 of the International Affairs Building following the lecture*

The Hindi language – always a contentious subject in the subcontinent – has long been accustomed to riding the rough seas of social change; but today, as the new media make new demands on the language, Hindi is beset by some particularly challenging circumstances. Its vernacular character is endangered by both the deep tidal pull of Sanskritization and the bluster of English, while its equilibrium often seems threatened by the very zeal of its own protagonists. This illustrated lecture sets out to identify some of the innate qualities of the language, and to assess the processes by which its ecology is enriched and/or endangered by the influences that play upon it; arguments made in the lecture draw on sources ranging from pre-modern poetry to contemporary advertising and road signs. A further aim of the lecture is to celebrate the excitement of language study, and to suggest ways in which research on Hindi – both within and without the refined sphere of literature – might usefully be developed in the future.

Rupert Snell has been teaching Hindi at SOAS, University of London, for some 30 years. He has produced a variety of Hindi teaching materials, is the translator of In the Afternoon of Time (an autobiography by the poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan) and has written on other 20th-century authors such as Premchand, Ajneya, Jainendra Kumar, Shrilal Shukla, Gyanranjan and Nirmal Verma. Most of his research, however, has been in pre-modern literature in Braj Bhasha, and he is currently (re-)writing a study of the Satsai of Biharilal, with an emphasis on the vernacular aesthetics of this 17th-century poetic text. For the current semester he is teaching at the University of Texas, Austin.


The Heyman Center for the Humanities and the Southern Asian Institute presents:
"Singular Modernity?"
The Theory of Modernity Outside West
Modernity Poster
Date: Saturday, February 18th 2006
Time: 9:30am - 6:00pm
Location: Kellogg Center, 15th Floor, International Affairs Building

-Conference Schedule-

Morning Session: “MODERNITY, MODERNIZATION, AND OTHER MODELS”
9:30am – 12:30pm

  • Arjun Appadurai: “Is Modernization Theory All Bad?”

  • Sudipta Kaviraj: “For a Revisionist Theory of Modernity”
    (Steven Lukes will respond.)

Afternoon Session: “MODERNITY AND THE STATE IN SOUTH ASIA”
2pm – 6pm

  • Sheldon Pollock: “The Shame of Premodernity”

  • Sanjay Subrahmanyam: “What is the Concept of ‘Early Modern’ Good for?”

  • Partha Chatterjee: “The Early Modern and the Colonial Modern in South Asia”

  • David Washbrook: “Britain, Colonialism, and Modernity: Triangles of Uncertainty”


The Southern Asian Institute invites you to a Brown Bag Lunch Film Screening
Silent Waters directed by Sabiha Sumar
Date: Wednesday February 8, 2006
Time: 12:30 – 2pm
Place: Room 1134, 11th floor, International Affairs Building, 420 West 118th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10027

A widow living in Pakistan in 1979 watches helplessly as her son is drawn to a group of fundamentalists. His transformation coincides with new and disturbing questions about her own past – in particular, the trauma of the 1947 Partition. The New York Times called it “emotionally detailed… the film packs a wallop.” According to The Christian Science Monitor, the film is both “stirring… and very timely.” Starring Kiron Kher, in Punjabi with English subtitles.


The Southern Asian Institute invites you to a Brown Bag Lunch Talk with:
Suketu Mehta on “Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found”
Book: Bombay Lost and FoundDate: Wednesday February 1, 2006
Time: 12:30 – 2pm
Place: Room 1134, 11th floor, International Affairs Building, 420 West 118th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10027

A fiction writer and journalist, Suketu Mehta is the author of the acclaimed book “Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found,” a tale of his explorations of India’s biggest metropolis. The New York Times Book Review called it “narrative reporting at its finest, probably the best work of nonfiction to come out of India in recent years.” Last year it was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and won the Kiriyama Prize.

Born in Calcutta, Mehta was raised in Bombay and New York. He is a graduate of New York University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Granta, Harper’s, Time, and The Village Voice. Mehta also co-wrote the screenplay for “Mission Kashmir,” a recent Bollywood film.


Distinguished Lecture Series
Radhika Coomaraswamy will present her paper
"Being Tamil in a Different Way: a Feminist Critique of the Tamil Nation"
(doc)
Date: Monday, October 31st, 2005
Time: 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Place: International Affairs Building, Room 1512

Brown Bag Lunch Talk
Filmmakers Sedika Mojadidi and Erica Soehngen on Dangerous Journey
"A documentary on the crisis in women’s health in Afghanistan"
Date: Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Time: 12:30 – 2pm
Place: Room 1134, International Affairs Building, 420 West 118th Street,
11th Floor, New York, NY 10027

A woman dies in Afghanistan every 30 minutes from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth, making the country’s maternal death rate the highest in the world outside Africa. Soon to be broadcast on PBS, Dangerous Journey provides a rare look into this ongoing tragedy through one Afghan American doctor’s struggle to make a difference in a place where, he says, “the most dangerous thing a woman can do is get pregnant.”

Director Sedika Mojadidi and Producer Erica Soehngen will show clips from Dangerous Journey and discuss their experiences in Afghanistan as well as the broader crisis in women’s health in the country.

Ms. Mojadidi is an Afghan American filmmaker whose work has been shown on PBS, The Learning Channel, The Discovery Channel, and at various festivals around the world. Ms. Soehngen co-produced the recent HBO documentary on the start of the Air America radio network. Her work has also aired on National Geographic, CourtTV, ESPN, and VH1.


Dr. Narendra Jadhav on "Untouchables: My Family's Triumphant Journey Out of the Caste System in Modern India"
Date: Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Time: 12:30 – 2pm
Place: Room 1118, International Affairs Building, 420 West 118th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10027

Dr. Narendra Jadhav is principal adviser and chief economist at the Reserve Bank of India. He is also the author of an acclaimed memoir whose American edition, entitled “Untouchables: My Family's Triumphant Journey Out of the Caste System in Modern India,” will be released next week by Simon & Schuster. “Untouchables” relates how Dr. Jadhav's parents struggled against the oppressive caste system that continues to condemn millions of Indians to lives of humiliation, fear, and abuse.

Kirkus Reviews called the book “a loving paean to courageous parents, and an indicting portrait of prejudice in modern-day India.”

Dr. Jadhav holds a B.Sc. in Statistics and an M.A. in Economics from the University of Mumbai and a Ph.D in Economics from Indiana University.


Brown Bag Lunch Talk
Malcolm McLean
"Why Did Ramprasad Call His Goddess a Bitch? How Deities Function in Tantra"
Date: Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Time: 12:30 - 2pm
Place: Room 1134, Southern Asian Institute, 420 West 118th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10027

Malcolm McLean recently retired as professor of religious studies at the University of Otago in New Zealand, where he taught for twenty-five years. His research centers on Ramakrishna and Ramprasad. In addition, he is the author of "Devoted to the Goddess: The Life and Work of Ramprasad" (New York: SUNY Press, 1998).


A Talk With:
Christophe Jaffrelot
“India, the new strategic ally of the US in Asia”
Date: Thursday, September 29, 2005
Time: 11:00am – 12:30pm
Place: Lindsay Rogers Room, 7th floor, 420 West 118th Street, New York, NY 10027

The Alliance Program and the Institute for the Study of Europe present Christophe Jaffrelot, Director of the Center for International Studies and Research at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po) in Paris. He holds a PhD in political science from Sciences Po, where he lectures on South Asian politics. His recent works include “India’s Silent Revolution: The Rise of the Lower Castes” and “The Sangh Parivar: A Reader.”


Brown Bag Lunch Film Screening
The Terrorist
directed by Santosh Sivan
Date: Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Time: 12:30 – 2pm
Place: Room 1134, Southern Asian Institute, 420 West 118th Street,
11th Floor, New York, NY 10027

A young woman volunteers for a suicide mission planned by an extremist group. Will she complete the task or will she falter? Based roughly on the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi by the LTTE and starring Ayesha Dharker. The New York Times called the film “remarkable... almost unbearably suspenseful,” and added, “Mr. Sivan has accomplished something extraordinary: he has given political extremism a human face.”


Meet and Greet
1st Official Meet and Greet
Date: Monday, September 12th, 2005
Time: 6pm
Place: Room 1134, Southern Asian Institute, 420 West 118th Street,
11th Floor, New York, NY 10027

Please join the Southern Asian Institute in kicking off the new academic year with our first Meet and Greet! Come chat with students and professors from many different disciplines who all share an interest in South Asia. Samosas, wine and soft drinks will be served. See you soon!


Distinguished Lecture Series
Nivedita Menon
Reader (Associate Prof) in the Department of Political Science, Delhi University; Center Fellow at International Center of Advanced Studies, NYU
Date: Thursday, September 15th, 2005
Time: 4pm - 6pm
Place: Room 1512, International Affairs Building, 420 West 118th Street,
15th Floor, New York, NY 10027

"Citizenship and the Passive Revolution: Interpreting the First Amendment to the Indian Constitution". Light refreshments will be served prior to talk.


Brown Bag Lunch Panel
Summer in South Asia - Stories from the Field
Date: Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Time: 12:30 – 2pm
Place: Room 1134, Southern Asian Institute, 420 West 118th Street,
11th Floor, New York, NY 10027

Come hear SIPA students who spent the summer working in South Asia talk about their experience. The speakers represent a wide variety of internships, including stints with Grameen Bank, UNICEF, the Centre for Microfinance Research, and more. All are welcome!


The Southern Asian Institute invites you to a Brown Bag Lunch Talk with:
Madhavan Nambiar on “Empowering Rural India Through Information Technology”
Date: Wednesday March 1, 2006
Time: 12:30 – 2pm
Location: Room 1134, 11th floor, International Affairs Building, 420 West 118th Street, New York, NY 10027

Madhavan Nambiar is an additional secretary in India’s Ministry of Communications & Information Technology where he works to formulate policy on a wide spectrum of technology-related issues. Currently he is spearheading an ambitious effort by the Indian government to create internet kiosks in 100,000 villages.

Mr. Nambiar has held various posts within the Indian government, including executive director of the National Institute of Disaster Management and Chairman of the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation. He has also been a visiting scholar and fellow at Columbia and Oxford. He is currently teaching a course on public-private partnerships at SIPA.

Mr. Nambiar joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1974 and received an MBA from the Delhi School of Economics.


The Southern Asian Institute Invites You To:
Date: Monday, February 20th, 2006
Time: 4pm to 6pm
Location: Room 1512, 15th floor, International Affairs Building 420 W. 118th Street, New York, NY, 10027
*Food and beverages will be served in room 1134 of the International Affairs Building following the lecture*

The Hindi language – always a contentious subject in the subcontinent – has long been accustomed to riding the rough seas of social change; but today, as the new media make new demands on the language, Hindi is beset by some particularly challenging circumstances. Its vernacular character is endangered by both the deep tidal pull of Sanskritization and the bluster of English, while its equilibrium often seems threatened by the very zeal of its own protagonists. This illustrated lecture sets out to identify some of the innate qualities of the language, and to assess the processes by which its ecology is enriched and/or endangered by the influences that play upon it; arguments made in the lecture draw on sources ranging from pre-modern poetry to contemporary advertising and road signs. A further aim of the lecture is to celebrate the excitement of language study, and to suggest ways in which research on Hindi – both within and without the refined sphere of literature – might usefully be developed in the future.

Rupert Snell has been teaching Hindi at SOAS, University of London, for some 30 years. He has produced a variety of Hindi teaching materials, is the translator of In the Afternoon of Time (an autobiography by the poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan) and has written on other 20th-century authors such as Premchand, Ajneya, Jainendra Kumar, Shrilal Shukla, Gyanranjan and Nirmal Verma. Most of his research, however, has been in pre-modern literature in Braj Bhasha, and he is currently (re-)writing a study of the Satsai of Biharilal, with an emphasis on the vernacular aesthetics of this 17th-century poetic text. For the current semester he is teaching at the University of Texas, Austin.


The Heyman Center for the Humanities and the Southern Asian Institute presents:
"Singular Modernity?"
The Theory of Modernity Outside West
Modernity Poster
Date: Saturday, February 18th 2006
Time: 9:30am - 6:00pm
Location: Kellogg Center, 15th Floor, International Affairs Building

-Conference Schedule-

Morning Session: “MODERNITY, MODERNIZATION, AND OTHER MODELS”
9:30am – 12:30pm

  • Arjun Appadurai: “Is Modernization Theory All Bad?”

  • Sudipta Kaviraj: “For a Revisionist Theory of Modernity”
    (Steven Lukes will respond.)

Afternoon Session: “MODERNITY AND THE STATE IN SOUTH ASIA”
2pm – 6pm

  • Sheldon Pollock: “The Shame of Premodernity”

  • Sanjay Subrahmanyam: “What is the Concept of ‘Early Modern’ Good for?”

  • Partha Chatterjee: “The Early Modern and the Colonial Modern in South Asia”

  • David Washbrook: “Britain, Colonialism, and Modernity: Triangles of Uncertainty”


The Southern Asian Institute invites you to a Brown Bag Lunch Film Screening
Silent Waters directed by Sabiha Sumar
Date: Wednesday February 8, 2006
Time: 12:30 – 2pm
Place: Room 1134, 11th floor, International Affairs Building, 420 West 118th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10027

A widow living in Pakistan in 1979 watches helplessly as her son is drawn to a group of fundamentalists. His transformation coincides with new and disturbing questions about her own past – in particular, the trauma of the 1947 Partition. The New York Times called it “emotionally detailed… the film packs a wallop.” According to The Christian Science Monitor, the film is both “stirring… and very timely.” Starring Kiron Kher, in Punjabi with English subtitles.


The Southern Asian Institute invites you to a Brown Bag Lunch Talk with:
Suketu Mehta on “Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found”
Book: Bombay Lost and FoundDate: Wednesday February 1, 2006
Time: 12:30 – 2pm
Place: Room 1134, 11th floor, International Affairs Building, 420 West 118th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10027

A fiction writer and journalist, Suketu Mehta is the author of the acclaimed book “Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found,” a tale of his explorations of India’s biggest metropolis. The New York Times Book Review called it “narrative reporting at its finest, probably the best work of nonfiction to come out of India in recent years.” Last year it was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and won the Kiriyama Prize.

Born in Calcutta, Mehta was raised in Bombay and New York. He is a graduate of New York University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Granta, Harper’s, Time, and The Village Voice. Mehta also co-wrote the screenplay for “Mission Kashmir,” a recent Bollywood film.

Bottom Bar